Poetry topic idea: physics

Today’s poetry topic idea is physics.  In writing about physics a poet could write about a number of things.  A poet could write about:

  • Forces such as gravity and magnetism. A poet could explore them, ideas about how they work, and the idea that they are unseen.

  • Fundamental particles. A poet could look at protons, neutrons, and electrons, as well as smaller particles.

  • Physics equations. An example might be something like force = mass * acceleration2.  A poet could examine the equation and apply it to other things.

  • Big physics ideas. This could be things like the expanding universe or time travel.

Here is an example poem using the idea of physics:

It is said
that two objects
cannot occupy
the same place
at the same time.

If the time is the same,
the place must be different.

If the place is the same,
the time must be different.

what of nonphysical things?

Could a person,
have two thoughts,
at the same time?

Two emotions?

Two fears?

Two hopes?

Can these things
be in the same place
at the same time?

There once was a man
who stood by a grave
as a small child
laid flowers
and said,
“Now go to sleep.”


All in the same place
at the same time.

a learned person
would say
that this would not
go against the rule,
that all the different things
are really one thing
at one time
or different things
at different times
and that in some sense
the places vary

And yet,
to the man,
by the grave,
this is all in the same place
at the same time.

Poem: Soon is coming

Dear M,

Soon is coming
something is starting
remember why it’s important.

It’s not for the reasons
that are at the front.

It’s for something more
that although
intellectually described
is much more than that.

It’s for something
that means more
than these words
could ever describe.

Soon is coming.

Be focused.



Poetry topic idea: simplicity

Today’s poetry topic idea is simplicity. A poet could use simplicity in a poem in a variety of ways.

First, a poet could write a poem with simplicity.  This might take the route of a poem with very few words that expresses an idea in a clear way, or, it could take the route of a poem that looks simple, but in reality required a great deal of work.

Second, a poet could write about things that are done or approached with simplicity.  An example of this might be cooking.  A poet could look at cooking where simplicity was the focus.  Another example might be art.

Third, a poet could look at simplicity in terms of an overall approach to life.  They could look at things like downsizing and reducing commitments and responsibilities to have a more simple life.

Fourth, a poet could examine something with simplicity.  They could look at something complex and try to see and describe it in a simple way.

Fifth, a poet could look at things that are simple.  This might be something like a basic math problem (e.g. 2 + 3 = 5) or something like a square.  They could look at the simple thing and either see it from a place of appreciation or see it from a place of hidden complexity.

Here is an example poem using the idea of simplicity:

circles are simple in a way

a circle can be drawn
with a pin
a string
and a crayon

it’s simple

it’s just a basic movement

but there’s more there

there’s those equations you learned as a kid

the radius, times some number called pi, equals the circumference

that pi number, times the radius squared, gives the area

this is really complex in a way

this always works
for every circle

think about that

if something meets the definition of a circle
(whatever that may be)
then these equations
always work


think about that

wouldn’t you think
that at least once
in one case
they wouldn’t work?

wouldn’t you think
that by varying the length of the string
that somehow
you could find a time
when they wouldn’t work?

but no
they always work





it’s kind of a circular thought
if you think about it

Poem with an explanation: Maybe it’s broken?

Checking the email
for the fourteenth time

nothing’s bold.

Maybe it’s broken?


This poem is about a person waiting for a message.  They are checking their email repeatedly (so far, fourteen times in one day), but have not received a message they are waiting for.  More than this, the person hasn’t received any messages (nothing’s bold – new messages are bold in their email).

The person is anxious to get this message and the fact that they haven’t received it causes them to wonder if something’s wrong.  They question if their email is broken.

The person is worried and anxious and tries to find an explanation for the situation, which actually causes them more worry.

Poetry topic idea: sugar

Today’s poetry topic idea is sugar.  A poet could write about sugar in a number of ways.  A poet could write about:

  • Blood sugar. A poet could write about low blood sugar, high blood sugar, diabetes, and other conditions.  They could write about what different conditions are like and what it is like to have them.

  • Sweetness. A poet could write about things being sweet.  They could look at sweetness from a taste perspective and as a description for how a person acts (e.g. a person did something sweet).

  • The idea of an unwritten sound in a word. In the word sugar, there is an “h” sound that is not written.  The word is pronounced “shugar”.  A poet could explore this idea, look at other words with similar sounds, and use it as a metaphor for other things.

  • Foods and drinks that taste sweet.

  • Sugar itself. A poet could explore different forms of sugar and sugar as a chemical compound.

Here is an example poem:

little white crystals
of deception
they entice the eyes
with their sparkle and form
but they lead astray
down a path of pain
if the mouth does take
all that the eyes desire

Artwork to inspire poetry: ten circles

ten circles

Above is an artwork of ten circles.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

water marks
can tell a story
not of carelessness
or not using a coaster
but of people
and memories
and time that has passed

you might be able to remove them
with a towel
and an iron on low heat

would you really want to?